Tuesday, May 25, 2021

East of Sugarloaf

East of Sugarloaf~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork available at Gallery 322 




 
 The recent troubles have taken a toll on each and all of us.  I, who had never raised a fisted hand against another, now carry three revolvers; one holstered on my hip and two in pommel holsters on my saddle, in case you might measure me at a distance by my colors, as my old mare moves slowly up the corduroy road on the last day of May; a hot afternoon.  Her pace is just enough to lift a breeze above the dust, and her hooves on the wood, work a lullaby rhythm.  High to the west, is the sugarloaf mountain, but, closer, I catch sight of a young groundhog standing in the new corn, both only two hands high; both searching the sky for a taste of rain.  The old mare knows the high clouds have none; she waits for a drink from Bennett's creek.  Along the east side of the road, an oriole savors the honeysuckle blooms on the remnants of a split rail, its scent a brief kiss from a childhood sweetheart, and I dream in the afternoon of a brown-eyed Susan, while the old mare moves slowly up the corduroy road, away from the troubles, and every day, closer to home.
                     
                                                                  
                                                                  ~Michael Douglas Jones 




 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Embrace

Embrace ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork available at Gallery 322 





  Dearest,


While most are abed, I am in the saddle patrolling the High Bridge Road. I have ridden for weeks, seeing nothing but destruction and the dying embers of this war. Like my campfire, where the flames die down and then unexpectedly spring up with fire again; the fight dies down and then springs up with fight again. Our army was cornered, cut off from all supplies and any escape, but today our troopers kept High Bridge from burning, so that shall be our route to safety, my path back to you.


I am coming home to you; if you will still have me. I must confess; I am more a hobbled greybeard than the shy swain that rode off to adventure. I have changed considerably; my eyes from the inside do not change, but when I happen upon my reflection it is so different. There is no nimbus around my head, no medals on my chest; war was not at all like anyone imagined.


It has been almost a year since our last evening together, though it stands clear in my memory. The whispers of the wood fire, its glimmer lit a halo in your hair; there were few words; I said nothing and you said only, “Hold me.”


We stopped time that evening; we stopped war. Words will not heal our wounds; words will not make us forget, but if we can just embrace each other long enough to stop time once more, perhaps there is a chance to start a new time; to craft a new life.


  I shall make it so.

  I remain yours,

  beyond time.